Category Archives: Telly

Telly for Anglophiles | Teachers

Image from and Content from Wikipedia

Teachers is a British television sitcom, originally shown on Channel 4. The series follows a group of secondary school teachers in their daily lives.

While the first series centers heavily around probationary teacher Simon Casey (Andrew Lincoln), later series have a more balanced ensemble approach. The cast changes dramatically over time, with few original characters remaining by the fourth series. While some of these disappearances are explained, others happen between series without explanation.

The first three series are set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, which merges with another school in the fourth series to form Wattkins School. The series was filmed at the former Lockleaze school, and other locations around Bristol, England.

Teachers was nominated for six BAFTA awards between 2002 and 2004, and was nominated for Best British Comedy Show at the British Comedy Awards in 2003.

In January 2005, after a muted reception to the fourth series, Channel 4 announced that Teachers would not continue for a fifth series. A short-lived U.S. version was aired in 2006.

British Celebrity Spotlight | Shaun Evans

Shaun Evans (born 6 March 1980 in Liverpool) is an English actor.

His first major role was that of gay French teacher John Paul Keating in the Channel 4 comedy-drama Teachers during its second series in 2002. The following year he made his feature film debut in The Boys from County Clare, starring alongside Bernard Hill, Colm Meaney and Andrea Corr. Additional screen credits include Being Julia, The Situation, Cashback, Gone, Boy A (film), Telstar, Princess Ka’iulani and Clive Barker’s horror, Dread.

On television, Evans was featured in the 2002 docudrama The Project and was seen as the Earl of Southampton in the miniseries The Virgin Queen, which premiered in November 2005 on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS in the U.S. before airing on the BBC in January 2006. His stage work includes a UK tour of the award-winning play Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall. Recent television appearances include, Murder City, BBC’s Ashes to Ashes, Gentley’s Last Stand and four-part drama The Take from the novel by Martina Cole on Sky1. Evans also starred in Sparkle alongside Bob Hoskins and Stockard Channing (2007). He also portrayed Kurt Cobain in the Roy Smiles play Kurt and Sid, at the Trafalgar Studios, opposite Danny Dyer as Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

In August 2011, it was announced that he would be playing the young Inspector Morse in Endeavour, which would focus on the detective’s early career.

An initial episode was to be broadcast on 2 January 2012 which, since successfully received, has been re-commissioned for four new episodes by the ITV, with filming expecting to start summer 2012.

In 2012, Evans also played the role of new pupil, Daniel, in BBC Legal Drama Silk alongside Maxine Peake.

Telly for Anglophiles | League of Gentlemen

[abridged from]

The League of gentlemen are: Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith.

BBC 2 aired the first episode of The League of Gentlemen ‘Welcome to Royston Vasey’ on 11th January 1999.

Over ten years later, we have had a second and a third series, a Christmas special, loads of books, two national tours with the ‘local show for local people’ and ‘The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You’ and many individual projects such as TLC, Surrealissimo, nighty night, Benidorm, Dr Who, Catterick, Sherlock and film appearances in Birthday Girl and Hitchhikers Guide to name just a few. Reece has taken to the boards a few times and has appeared in the stage version of The Producers. Steve has become a regular on TV in Benidorm and has appeared in many quality drama and Mark has fulfilled a lifetime ambition not by just writing an episode of Doctor Who but by starring in an episode! Jeremy has published more books, co-written a brilliant TV series, Blackpool and co written the amazing stage show Ghost Stories with Andy Nyman and has too many projects on the go to mention them all!

Collectively they Fulfilled a lifetime ambition with their very own feature film entitled The League of Gentlemens Apocalypse which is out on DVD and a DVD of the Panto tour is out also! Steve and Reece won A Comedy Award with the first series of Psychoville and have a 2nd series under their belt which is also nominated for a comedy award! Can we beg them for a live show of Psychoville?

Psychoville was launched in June 2009 and features both Steve and Reece supported by an amazing cast including Dawn French, Christopher Biggins, Dame Eileen Atkins and Nicholas Le Prevost to name but a few!

British Celebrity Spotlight | Rupert Penry-Jones

Penry-Jones was born in London in 1970 to Welsh actor Peter Penry-Jones, and actress Angela Thorne. His brother Laurence Penry-Jones and sister-in-law Polly Walker are also actors.

He was educated at Dulwich College in south-east London, until age 17 when he was enrolled at Bristol Old Vic, only to be expelled in his second year for being a bad influence.. His bad influence was a result of a broken relationship in which Rupert stated he tried to get over it by “shagging everything in sight” . Being dyslexic, he struggled at school, eventually leaving with no A-levels.

In 1995 he appeared with his mother on television in Cold Comfort Farm.

Penry-Jones trained for the stage at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He made his London stage debut at the Hackney Empire in 1995 playing Fortinbras to Ralph Fiennes’s Hamlet in an Almeida production of Hamlet.

He was cast as Richard in the premiere staging of Stephen Poliakoff’s Sweet Panic at Hampstead Theatre in 1996. The following year he appeared in both The Paper Husband at Hampstead Theatre and as the upper class Pip Thompson in a prestigious revival of Arnold Wesker’s Chips with Everything on the Lyttelton stage at the Royal National Theatre.

In 1998 he created the role of the Boy in Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby at the Almeida Theatre. In 1999 he joined the RSC at Stratford-upon-Avon, playing the title role in Don Carlos at The Other Place and Alcibiades in Timon of Athens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Both productions transferred to the Barbican Centre in 2000, where his performance as Don Carlos won the Ian Charleson Award.

At the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds in 2001 he was cast as Robert Caplan in J. B. Priestley’s thriller “time-play” Dangerous Corner opposite Dervla Kirwan, who played Olwen Peel. The production then successfully transferred for a four-month run at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End.

From July to October 2003 at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre he played the leading role of Louis XIV in Nick Dear’s historical drama Power.

He returned to the theatre at the end of 2009 playing the role of Carl in Michael Wynne’s new play The Priory at the Royal Court Theatre, London, from 19 November 2009 to 16 January 2010.

On television, he has played barrister Alex Hay in C4’s 10 part serial North Square in 2000, Donald McLean in the BBC’s 4-part production of Cambridge Spies in 2003 and Grimani in Russell T. Davies’ production of Casanova in 2005.

In 2004, he joined the cast in series 3 of the BBC’s BAFTA-winning series Spooks. He played the lead role of section leader, Adam Carter for 4 series before leaving the show in 2008. He won ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards for his role in Spooks in 2008. He also went on to play the role of Captain Wentworth in ITV’s adaptation of Persuasion.

In 2008, he starred with Bradley Whitford and Neve Campbell in Burn Up playing an oil executive who becomes embroiled in the politics surrounding global warming and oil stocks.

He played Richard Hannay in the BBC adaptation of The 39 Steps which was screened at Christmas 2008.

In 2009, he was cast as the lead in the unaired ABC pilot The Forgotten but was unceremoniously replaced when the pilot was picked up and replaced by Christian Slater. Penry-Jones was apparently devastated and proceeded to give a number of interviews in the UK in which he attacked the US television industry. His charms appear lost on Americans, however, with Rupert being unceremoniously dumped from a major TV series. He has since described American television as a “factory”.

In February 2009, he took the lead in an ITV drama, Whitechapel, a three-part thriller based on a the copycat killings of Jack the Ripper. Whitechapel was the highest performing new drama in 2009. A second series of the show based around the Kray twins was broadcast in autumn 2010; the third series began in January 2012.

He was scheduled to appear alongside other celebrities in Soccer Aid 2010, but broke a bone in his knee during training, putting him in a plaster cast and ruling him out of the final match on 6 June 2010.

Rupert was also recently cast opposite Maxine Peake in a legal drama Silk created by Peter Moffat. The show revolves around two barristers, played by Penry-Jones and Peake who are competing to become QCs.

Rupert also joined the cast of the film Manor Hunt Ball. Filming commenced in late 2010/early 2011.

Rupert is notable for being passed over for membership for the BAFTA, nevertheless he was a presenter at the BAFTA TV Awards in 2009 and 2012.

Rupert is known to be very critical of the British television and film industry. He stated that Doctor Who is a “very good children’s show…but has low production values.” He also said the Harry Potter films are “shit”. He admitted walking out of the first three films.

Doctor Who | BFI, London’s South Bank / Screening of ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ (article by Patrick Mulkern)—new-title-sequences-matt-smith-on-twitter-and-a-big-surprise

It was a starry, saucy night at the BFI on London’s South Bank.

To whoops from the audience, on a high from the episode we’d just witnessed (all Doctor Who deserves to be seen on a big screen!), Steven Moffat and fellow executive producer Caroline Skinner took to the stage together with all three stars of Doctor Who. Matt Smith was suave and saturnine in black suit, red tie and stripey socks; Karen Gillan, radiant in a glittery, peach strappy top, floral miniskirt and black tights; and Arthur Darvill looking cool with dishevelled hair, tufty beard, black shirt and jeans torn at the knee.

Ex-Blue Peter man and Radio 5 Live host Richard Bacon fielded a lively panel with many questions coming, refreshingly, from the programme’s younger fans (and I mean children).

But Moffat led the way with his Big Surprise: “This room froze in a strange way when…” something strange and unexpected happened on screen. “I know it’s a big ask, and I know it might make you feel a bit silly – not as silly as I feel right now – but I know it will be a better show for keeping that one piece of information back. Please. Just. DON’T!” Everyone in the room clapped. So that’s that sorted, Steven.

He confirmed that there’ll be five new episodes this autumn, the Christmas special is being filmed now (“It’s a heatwave so we must be filming Christmas!”), with eight new episodes next spring. Did he mind the way this seventh series was being split up, asked Bacon. Not at all, said Moffat. “It means more first nights! And if we get more Radio Times covers, that’s useful.” We’ll do our best, Mr Moffat.

Bacon cheekily, and relentlessly, quizzed Moffat about his plans for a “multiple Doctor episode” for the 50th anniversary, claiming the exec had recently been spotted dining out with David Tennant. Had he been schmoozing Christopher Eccleston and Sylvester McCoy, too? “Are you asking if I’ve eaten in the presence of any previous Doctors? Would you like me to give you a list?” joked Moffat. “I’ve had Sunday lunch many times with Peter Davison!”

Caroline Skinner, who joined the series last year, intimated that there’s nothing “pinned down” for the anniversary but they have “huge ideas for live events” and that 2013 “will be the biggest year for Doctor Who across the board”. And she knows her Doctor Who: “My dad was massively into all sci-fi/fantasy stuff, so I sat down and watched a lot of the early episodes with him when I was far, far too young and far too scared.”

Matt Smith confirmed that he’s signed to play the Time Lord until 2014 and that this has always been the case. “I was always going to be around. It’s going to be exciting next year.” He also revealed he never looks at online forums: “That was the first thing Steven said to me. Never, ever to go on the internet… So, BBC Sport website, and that’s kind of it really.”

Naughty Bacon also asked, “Did you and Karen ever come close to, um, like, having a thing?” “Absolutely not!” huffed Matt, once the laughter died down. “That was another conversation with Steven… No, we’re professionals!” “This is so embarrassing,” laughed Karen, blushing.

An audience member wanted to know why Matt is the only panellist yet to be seduced by Twitter. “It’s just not my cuppa tea. I don’t see it happening any time soon,” he said. “I figure who cares what I’m doing?” Only millions, possibly..? And then Moffat revealed that in episode four, The Power of Three, “the Doctor just says the word ‘Twitter!’ – into which Matt puts his entire disgust. It’s rather magnificent.”

Significantly, these five adventures build up to the departure of Amy and Rory, and Matt is already missing his co-stars. “This Dalek episode is about marking what brilliant companions these two are, and they’re both spellbinding in it, and they get better throughout the five. In the last episode it’s heart-wrenching to see them go.”

Arthur Darvill said their final scenes are “emotion-led” and that for ages “Karen wouldn’t read the script. I’d read it and really wanted someone to talk to.” “I didn’t want to make it real,” Gillan explained. “I’m going to miss these guys. We’re good friends now. I’m also gonna miss just running down corridors away from monsters, because that’s the most fun, and now I’m going to do TV shows where I’m just talking at people.”

Darvill admitted that Doctor Who “will never leave us. There’s a huge network of people who’ve been involved in the show. It will follow us for the rest of our lives.”

At the glittering after-show bash, I congratulated Steven Moffat on a spectacular episode and he told me he hopes each episode will come across like a mini-blockbuster. He confirmed there’ll be a different look to each title sequence and logo across the next five episodes: “Daleky, dinosaurs, cowboy-western…”

In a packed room I spotted Nicola Bryant, who played 1980s companion Peri, lending some glamour and having her photo taken with Karen and Arthur. I met Doctor Who’s casting agent Andy Pryor who said to expect some further major guest-star coups imminently. I bumped into actor Nicholas Briggs again after many years. He does all the Dalek voices (and there are so many in Asylum!) and proved yet again he’s an authority on all things Dalek.

Mark Gatiss spoke excitedly about his forthcoming drama on the early days of Doctor Who, which has a particular focus on its complex original star, William Hartnell. “I’ve been thinking about it for nearly 12 years, ever since reading his granddaughter Jessica Carney’s wonderful biography [Who’s There?].” It’s too early to go into detail about the project, but it’s clear it will feature many key personnel and re-create special moments from the programme’s 1963 inception.

I met writer Chris Chibnall for the first time, and we found ourselves chatting about 1980s Who, which RT is now covering in our Doctor Who Story Guide. It’s an era he loves and is currently exposing his kids to. He’s holding back the pleasures of the 1982 Peter Davison classic, Earthshock. He promises his two coming episodes, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three, are very different stories. One is finished, the other is still having final edits. Expect a full interview with Chris on very soon.

Caroline Skinner, who joined Who hot from BBC3’s award-winning but dropped series The Fades, is always interesting and I’d like to speak to her in greater depth about the influence she’s having on the new series. Without realising (as no one introduced us), I was standing right next to Asylum director Nick Hurran; I’d really wanted to congratulate this man. Better luck next time.

I expect the party went on into the night, but I had to catch a tube train and put on my reporter’s cap for RT.

Telly for Anglophiles | New Merlin Series 5 Trailer

New Doctor Who Series 7 Trailer

I don’t own the rights to the video.

British Celebrity Spotlight | Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton (born 3 September 1981) is an English television and radio presenter who is known for presenting a number of popular TV programmes such as Top of the Pops and the Red Nose Day telethon. In 2007, she became the first regular female presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Chart Show. She currently presents Radio 1’s weekday mid-morning programme, having replaced long-time host Jo Whiley, and is a team captain on the comedy panel show Celebrity Juice.

Cotton was born in Northwood, London to Lyn and Mick Cotton; she has a younger brother, Jamie. Her father was a signwriter for events such as Live Aid and her mother worked in alternative therapy. She grew up in Eastcote, Hillingdon and was educated at Haydon School. She is a pescatarian and an animal lover. She runs 5 km at least three times a week, and has participated in several half marathons for charity. Former BBC executive Bill Cotton (1928–2008) was her paternal grandfather’s cousin. He was the son of the well-known entertainer and band leader Billy Cotton.

She began her presenting career in 1998, at the age of 17, with early morning GMTV children’s programme The Disney Club, after she was discovered in a nationwide talent search during the show.

Cotton studied art at A level,a skill she made much use of whilst presenting the series Draw Your Own Toons. She also enjoys body art and claimed on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that she has eleven tattoos over her body, the most notable of which is a fern leaf, covering her right hip up to her rib cage.

Cotton has been romantically linked to several celebrities including Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins, Fame Academy‘s Peter Brame, and Channel 4 presenter Steve Jones. Her long-term, on-again-off-again boyfriendis skateboarder Jesse Jenkins; he proposed on her 29th birthday. The engagement was called off and the couple split 9 months later.Cotton is currently dating Jesse Wood, son of The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

She is good friends with fellow TV presenter Holly Willoughby, with whom she has co-presented several shows.Cotton and Sarah Cawood acted as two of the bridesmaids at Willoughby’s wedding to Dan Baldwin on 4 August 2007.

Telly for Anglophiles | Parade’s End (coming soon)

This is the original press release, I believe.

Filming has begun on Mammoth Screen’s epic BBC Two drama and HBO miniseries Parade’s End which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, The Awakening) and heralds the return of Sir Tom Stoppardto British television.

Parade’s End is a flagship five-part drama adapted by internationally acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Brazil, Empire Of The Sun, Shakespeare In Love) from a quartet of novels by Ford Madox Ford, considered by many to be one of the literary masterworks of the 20th century. It is directed by multi Emmy-nominated and Bafta award-winning film maker Susanna White (Generation Kill, Bleak House, Jane Eyre, Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang).

Parade’s End is set during a formative period of British history – from the twilight years of the Edwardian era to the end of the First World War. At its centre is English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), his beautiful but wilful wife Sylvia (Hall), and Valentine Wannop, a young suffragette, played by Logie-nominated actress Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Generation Um, Camilla Dickenson).

Filming will take place across the UK and Belgium until December with a supporting cast including such acting luminaries as Roger Allam (The Queen, The Woman In Black) Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen, Nowhere Boy), Rupert Everett (The Importance Of Being Earnest, Hysteria), Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Clare Higgins (A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, The Golden Compass), Janet McTeer (The Woman In Black, Albert Nobbs) and Miranda Richardson (Made In Dagenham, The Lost Prince).

Also starring are Freddie Fox (The Shadow Line), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Tom Mison (One Day), Geoffrey Palmer (The Lost Christmas), Jamie Parker (The Hour) and Steven Robertson (Red Riding).

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “It’s great to be working with HBO again on this ambitious project which further demonstrates BBC Two’s ongoing commitment to original British drama in 2012. The stellar cast assembled simply confirms the buzz and excitement around Sir Tom Stoppard’s return to British television.”

Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries, says: “The marriage of Tom Stoppard’s extraordinary scripts and Susanna White’s singular cinematic vision presented us with an irresistible opportunity. As we find ourselves approaching the centennial of the First World War, this work will resonate with contemporary audiences as a touchstone for the human effects of global social transformation.”

Parade’s End was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. It will join a raft of new drama series on the channel including Jed Mercurio’s Line Of Duty, Paula Milne’s White Heat, Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing On The Edge, and a major new cycle of Shakespeare’s four most acclaimed historical works as part of a season based on the Bard’s life and works.

Parade’s End is produced by Oscar and Bafta-winning David Parfitt (The Madness Of King George, Shakespeare In Love, My Week With Marilyn) and twice Bafta-winning Selwyn Roberts (Longitude, Shackleton). Michele Buck, Damien Timmer and Tom Stoppard are executive producers for Mammoth Screen, Piers Wenger for the BBC.

It is a Mammoth Screen production for the BBC in association with HBO Miniseries and Trademark Films and BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point co-produced with BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund and Anchorage Entertainment. Filmed with the support of the Belgian federal government’s Tax Shelter scheme.


Telly for Anglophiles | Hunted (coming soon)

I don’t own the rights to the video.